Flying Around In Circles | Travel Research Online


Flying Around In Circles

I have finally gotten around to writing my fifth book titled Bedtime Stories For Travel Professionals. It crossed my mind that, in order to promote my book properly, I should provide a sample chapter or two to give my potential readers a better idea as to the type of story involved. I decided on a slice of my life that I will take to my grave. It describes a lesson I learned from when I was testing for my private pilot’s license. I am sure I shared this lesson with you in years past, but it is definitely worth repeating in case you missed it. Here goes:

Picture yourself at 2500 feet above the ground in a Volkswagen Bug with wings. You are at the controls of a Cessna 152 single engine airplane, sitting next to an FAA inspector who has your future as a pilot in their hands. At the moment you have their life in your hands but, since this model airplane has two yokes, that really is not the case.

Today was the day I had been training for, studying for, cramming for, practicing for, and looking forward to. Today was the day. And I felt I was ready.

One of the tests is to take into consideration the four forces of flight: weight, lift, thrust and drag. The strength and direction of the wind also come into play. The test is to pick an object on the ground and maneuver your aircraft in a perfect circle around that object keeping it below the tip of your left wing. In my case, I picked a water tower in Haddonfield, New Jersey.

Three times around holding position was the objective. I flashed back to my studies. When you are flying into the wind, do this. When the wind is to your back, do that. When it is coming from the left, adjust with slight pressure. When from the right, do the opposite.


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I began my first turn. I was about to experience the wind from four different directions in a short period of time. The wind was slowing me down, speeding me up, sliding me to the left, and sliding me to the right. I kept circling, but the tower was no longer below my wing. In fact it was a mile away by now. My mind was in a spin as I tried to figure out where I went wrong.

The instructor simply said, “Now go back and do it again.” I did. Same results. She repeated herself, “Go back and do it again.” Same results. My mind was spinning frantically. I was about to fail the test.

That is when she told me in no uncertain terms something I will never forget as long as I live. “Go back there and forget everything you ever read about making coordinated turns and fly this box around the &*%& water tower.” And that is exactly what I did. Three times. Perfect. Tower holding steady right below my left wing.

Lesson: There is no substitute for studying, reading, practicing, researching, and thinking. But when all the preparation is finished and done, it is time that you simply grab the bull by the horns and “fly around the water tower.”

Bottom Line: Think. Study. Practice. Do.

100 Bedtime Stories For Travel Professionals is not available yet. If you want to be notified as soon as I go to print (digital), shoot me an email and I will put you on the “special list.”


A headshot of the author, Mike Marchev

Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club.

*** You want more to think about? Check out my weekly podcast (Mike’d Up Marchev) at Also listed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google and iHeartRadio.

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